Research Key

Investigating the causes and effects of building failure

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International: $20
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 MS Word & PDF

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Buildings are structure, which serve as shelter for man, properties and activities.

They must be properly planned, designed and created to obtain desired satisfaction from the environment.  The factors to be observed in building construction include durability, adequate stability to prevent its failure of discomfort to the users, resistance to weather, fire outbreak and other forms of accidents.

The styles of building construction are constantly changing with introduction of new materials and techniques of construction consequently, the work involved in the design and construction stages of buildings are largely that will meet the expected building standards and aesthetic economy basis.

Several codes of practice universally accepted are available for the design and construction of building and these codes, through foreign, should be followed as a guide to building construction by the building team.

  A high level of skill is needed in designing and constructing buildings, competence and construction and craftsmanship from buildings, competence and craftsmanship from  the team, which include the architect, the Engineers or contractor (Structural, Mechanical and Electrical) and the Local Authority.


However, failure is an unacceptable difference between expected and observed performance.  A failure can be considered as occurring in a component when that component can no longer be relied upon to fulfill its principal functions. 

Limited deflection in a floor which cause a certain level of cracking distortion in partition could be reasonably be considered as defect but not a failure, where as excessive defection resulting in serious damage to partition, ceilings and floor is a failure (RODD is 1993).

Those who investigate and report on failures of engineers facilities are in good position to identify trends lending to identify trends leading to structural safety problem and to suggest topics for critical research to militate against this trend (CHAPMAN, 2000).

Frequently, constantly in the office, when they visit sites, see the same mistake being made time and time again many of these are indicator of a lack of knowledge on the part of the people undertaking the construction. 

It is strange to see well fitted houses that have associated  poor construction detail that results in a large subsequent repair bulls.  Unfortunately many of the explanation given for these poor practices are that they are common trade practices.  This leads to repetition of bad practices resulting in construction failure.  (PHILIP 2002).

Failure in building could be of two types namely cosmetic failure that occurs when something has been added to or subtracted from the building, this affecting the structures outlooks.

On the other hand structural failure affect both the outlook and structural stability of the building.

In Nigeria, building failure had been attributed to the following causes.  Design faults (50%) faults on construction site (40%) and product failure (10%) OYEWANDE (1992).

HALL (1984)described faulty design, fault execution of work and use of materials as major causes of structural failures, Frederick and james (1989) suggested that the overturning of structural failures due to heavy wind roof uplift or sliding and buildings ways due to lateral loads are major types of failure of buildings.  On the other hand,  AKINPELU (2002) categorized the following as a major causes of structural failures:   Environmental changes: natural and man made hazards; improper presentation and interpretation in the design.   RICHARD (2002) opined that detoriation of reinforced concrete could occur as a result of corrosion of the reinforcement caused by carbonation and chloride ingress, cracking cause by over loading, subsidence or basic design faults and construction defects.

SEELEY: (1993) recognized three major types of maintenance in building in other to restore its defective elements to an acceptable standard namely day to day, cyclic, planned maintenance.

This study is an assessment of building failures in Nigeria: Lagos and Ibadan and it focuses on the causes, effects and solution to common building in Nigeria.

  • Building Regulation:- This is a rule prescribe for builders conduct.
  • Builder:- This is a professional that undertakes the errection of structures or a building.
  • Professional:- This is same who has learnt the special trade needed to do his job well.
  • Design:- This is an architectural plan for the purpose of a particular construction project.
  • Building:- It is an act of constructing any substantial structures.
  • Failure:- This is when construction fail to fulfill it function due to negligence or inexperience of building team.
  • Construction:- This is an act of building or erection of structures or the act of constructing.
  • Assessment:- The process of assessing situation
  • Cause:- The efficient thing that which make thing to be or happened.
  • Effects:- A result or product of some cause or agency i.e consequence.
  • Foundation:- This is a component that transfer weight of building and occupant to the earth.
  • Craftsman:- This is a skilled person that specially trained and make beautiful thing by hand.
  • Contractor: This is a qualified person or company who can provide professional services to the other especially in building.
  • Cracking: This is line opening on the wall of building which can lead to collapse.
  • Material:- This are the component use to make a building e.g block glass and sand e.t.c
  • Structure:- This s an arrangement of path of building.
  • Faults:- This is a major mistake in the design or a wrong insertion in the design.
  • Aesthetic:- This is concerned with beauty and the understand of beautiful thing in structure.
  • Maintenance:- This is the act of keeping structure in good condition by checking or repairing regularly.     
  • Site:- This is an area of land where building is being building.
  • Stair case:- A set of stair inside a building including the post an rail.
  • Roof:- This is a structure that cover or foam the top of a building.
  • Ceiling:- This is the top finish inside a room of a building.

Complied from – Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.


This project research is aimed at investigating the causes and effects of building failure in Nigeria especially in Lagos State and suggest possible ways of averting future occurrence if not total; eradication of the incidence.  However, the following will form the objectives of the study in achieving the above aim.

  1. To identity and assesses the various building failure.
  2. To assess the important of building code and regulation in the construction industry

To assess the effects of building failure on general public and economic delivery of the project.

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